The longer the resistance...
Seven years ago, on the eve of her wedding, proper Lady Jessica Sheffield witnessed a licentious scene no innocent young miss could imagine. Shocked, yet strangely titillated, she'd held her silence regarding scandalous Alistair Caulfield, and walked down the aisle as expected. But through years of serene, unremarkable marriage, Caulfield's image remained burned into her imagination, fueling very illicit dreams. . .
...the sweeter the reward
Alistair ran far from the temptation of the prim debutante with the fire of passion in her eyes – all the way to the West Indies. As a successful merchant, he has little in common with the rakehell youth she knew. But when newly widowed Jessica steps aboard his ship for a transatlantic passage, seven years' worth of denied pleasures are held in check by nothing more than a few layers of silk – and the certainty that surrender will consume them both. . .
"[Sylvia Day is] the undisputed mistress of tender, erotic romance. " – Teresa Medeiros
"Day plays on sensual themes with a lush grace. " – Romantic Times
Note to Fellow Readers: In my mind’s eye, I always envisioned a ‘perfect’ historical romance, and Sylvia Day made it a reality!
On the eve of her wedding, Jessica takes a break from her party and goes on a lone stroll outside only to discover the rakish Alistair Caulfield engaged in a sexual encounter with a married woman. The woman never notices Jessica, but Alistair does. The look of confusion and lust on Jessica’s face is emblazoned in Alistair’s memory and from that moment, something sparks between them.
Hearing a noise behind her (as her friends and family are looking for her), Jessica deters anyone from the party to the site where Alistair is ‘occupied’ at and keeps what she saw a secret from everyone.
Seven years pass, and Jessica is now Lady Jessica Tarley. Her husband who just recently took ill and died, leaves her a young, but very rich widow. As part of her inheritance, her husband leaves Jessica an estate in Calypso and she aims to set sail to it at once.
Jessica’s sister, Hester, and Jessica’s brother-in-law, Michael, both try to dissuade her from going, but they soon realize Jessica has made up her mind. Michael, partly in obligation to his dead brother, sets out to look for someone who will take care of Jessica while she sails to Calypso and who will show her around when she gets there.
Alistair, who while abroad in the West Indies hears the news that Jessica is now a widow, speeds across the oceans to put to rest the temptation he fought ever since that night Jessica saw him seven years ago. But before he can even set foot on land, Alistair bumps into Michael at the docks. Michael (who has no clue Alistair has feelings for Jessica) wastes no time and makes a proposition to Alistair concerning Jessica and her lands in Calypso.
Alistair readily agrees to Michael’s proposal and instantly prepares his ship to set sail back to the West Indies. Alistair placates Michael by telling him that he hopes to make Jessica sell his lands to him, since his lands in Calypso neighbor hers, and once the business is concluded, Alistair promises to bring Jessica back home to England.
Michael is relieved, but little does he know Alistair has an ulterior motive and aims to make Jessica his. Once Jessica is aboard his ship, and in the high seas, Alistair stops at nothing to posses her, but who exactly ends up being the master at sea and of Alistair’s heart?
What I liked about Seven Years To Sin.
1. Language. The text was perfect! I’ve read other historical romances where it was so hard to trudge through the language of the day, and my Kindle flat out died from not being able to find the words in the dictionary! LOL I just loved how easy Seven Years To Sin was to read and get into, and I didn’t have to suspend belief in the story, wasting time trying to figure out what was being said.
2. Hotttt, Scorching Sex. This is my first Sylvia Day (SD) book and let me just say, SD brings it! I know in the past, I haven’t been too keen on the female lead falling in love, or starting a relationship with a man she ‘accidentally’ catches in the act with someone else, but in this case – 1) Jessica was going to marry someone else, and she and Alistair were strangers and 2) Jessica and Alistair never see each other again for seven years. Plus, the way SD writes it, it just works – trust me.
I also liked that seven years later, a now older and wiser Jessica knows what she wants and she doesn’t hesitate to ask for it! It definitely made for some very steamy reading *fans self* And I just loved how Alistair talks to her, with a mixture of smut and tenderness. Just loved it!
3. It’s Not All About Sex. Never thought I’d actually type these words, but Seven Years To Sin is not all about sex. There’s so much more to this book. One interesting sub-plot masterfully intertwined in this book along with Jessica and Alistair’s story, deals with Jessica’s sister, Hester.
Hester suffers the bad fate of being married to an abusive, alcoholic husband. At the end of her rope, she no longer knows what do when she becomes pregnant, despite all her efforts from the age to prevent it. Unbeknownst to Hester, Michael has held a torch for her since before she was married and he turns out to be a great help to her. Hester’s end story was truly surprising and tragic – I didn’t expect it at all.
4. Explanation of Alistair’s Rakish Ways. Sure Alistair was doing all sorts of illicit things, but instead of coming up with ridiculous reasons about it being because he was saving the nation, or saying he was a rake for the good of jolly ol’ England, we find out Alistair was pumping the rich for what else? Money. Left with very little money from his family, he sets out to do what he does best, and he is upfront about it with Jessica. (But it’s a perfect blend – he doesn’t harp on it and never brings up the other women again. It’s a one time conversation. It’s all about Jessica!)
What I really like about Alistair’s character was when they finally solidify their relationship, he’s apprehensive about the women he’s been with. He’s afraid they will somehow interfere with their relationship or perhaps even embarrass Jessica (when they go to functions) since at the beginning of the book, he’s the black sheep of the family. Jessica won’t let him doubt himself for a moment, or their newfound love and fully accepts what’s to come – if it should ever be an issue. But wait! There’s a genius plot twist at the end that changes Alistair and Jessica’s lives! I loved it!
5. Hotttt Sex and Dirty Talking! Oh, did I mention this already? Just making sure you were paying attention, Fellow Readers. LOL Either way, it’s well worth mentioning again!
What I didn’t like about Seven Years To Sin:
1. The Cover. The cover is way too modern-looking, and I had no clue this was a historical romance. When I began reading, I was confused, wondering if there was something wrong with my document upload from NetGalley. LOL
Thank goodness for Goodreads, I discovered the lone key cover wasn’t the original cover, it was this one:
Had this been the cover of the book, I would have had no problems identifying it as a historical romance, but the other cover with the key made me believe otherwise. Sorry to nit pick, but you know me and my Cover Lust!
2. The epilogue was too short! I needed more – darn it, like 500 more pages of an epilogue LOL This was just a perfect read and if you love Erotica and Historical Romance, Seven Years To Sin is the absolute perfect book for you!
Her belly quivered as he neared the patch of dark blond curls that shielded her sex.
Looking up, he met her gaze. “You like watching.”
“And you like being watched. We have already established you are an exhibitionist.”
Her prim and proper voice, tempered by panting, made him smile. “Only when you are the observer.”
“I want to touch you.”
“How will my memory linger with you, if I leave no imprint?”
Alistair responded by sliding one thigh between hers, parting her legs. If she thought they would have only this one indiscretion, she was sorely mistaken. But he thought it best not to put it in quite those terms yet. “You may have your way with me another day.”
Before she could reply, he lifted and draped one sleek thigh over his shoulder. Her sudden intake of breath increased his anticipation. Her eyes were half-lidded, her kiss-swollen lips parted, her chest heaving with rapid breaths. She lifted her hips to his mouth in bold provocation. The act was not new to her. Alistair both envied Tarley and admired him. The viscount had possessed everything a man could want—he’d retained respectability and popularity, embraced an unfashionably happy marriage, and enjoyed a satisfying sexual life with a socially esteemed wife many believed was above such base needs.
Alistair could offer her so little of what Tarley had had. Aside from coin and a head for business, there was nothing to recommend him beyond his passion for her and his skill in bed. And perhaps his lack of shame and willingness to treat her as an equal.
Jessica lifted her other leg and rested it on his shoulder. She arched one brow in silent challenge.
“Temptress.” He parted the plump folds of her sex and ground his hips into the bed, attempting to relieve the nearly unbearable throbbing of his neglected cock. “You are even perfect here.”
Pointing his tongue, he traced the delicate folds and crevices before circling the distended tip of her clitoris. She was as wet as he’d hoped, the silken skeins of her lust clinging to the petal-soft skin, her body’s primitive plea for a hard cock to fill her.
“Yes …” she breathed. “Yes.”
Alistair fluttered his tongue over the clenching opening, groaning as her response became more frantic. Tilting his head, he licked into the tender, spasming tissues. Her thready moan enflamed him, urged him to a faster pace, until he was fucking her fiercely with his tongue. Ravenous, he ate at her, drinking in her taste and the sounds she made. She began to plea for him to finish her, then to threaten him with reprisal. He pushed farther, to the point where she began to promise him anything if only he would ease her torment.
There was a great deal he could do with such a promise.
He licked along her drenched slit, then pushed her over the edge with a lush, open-mouthed kiss to her clitoris. With parted lips and gentle suckling, he stroked over the bundle of nerves with the flat of his tongue. The first flutters of climax rippled through her, and at the height of her extremity he slid two fingers deep into the tightness of her too-long neglected body.
The headboard creaked as Jessica fought against her restraints, her delicate inner muscles tugging at his pumping fingers in time with the workings of his mouth. He tongued her mercilessly, giving no quarter, spurring her to another orgasm before the first had fully eased its grip. She screamed when she came again, her mouth pressed to her biceps to muffle the sound.
He growled as she shuddered, as hungry for her pleasure as he’d ever been for his own. Pushing a third finger in with the others, he worked the tight flesh. The thought of how snugly she’d hold his cock increased his frenzy. Raking the edge of his teeth lightly over the hard knot of nerves, he pushed her into another climax on the heels of the second. He kept at her until she came again, driving her hard and fast. Relentless in his need to own her desire completely.
“No more …” she pled hoarsely, shrinking away from his avid mouth. “Please …”
Rating: 5 Kisses
Don’t have time to read the entire review? No worries – check out the audio version!
*book was provided to Read Our Lips! by publisher via NetGalley*